Low carbon roadmap for the Finnish technology industries
Finnish Technology industries support the Finnish carbon neutrality target and provide the crucial technology for the climate solutions with a large handprint. Technology industries cover e.g. the metals industry, the electrotechnical industry, manufacturing, ICT and engineering and management consulting. The roadmap enables the industry to clarify the required technological solutions for urgent industrial investments, efforts in R&D and also building skills and export potential for low-carbon solutions.
Current and target state
The direct emissions from Finnish technology industries were approximately 4 Mt CO2 and indirectly from purchased energy 2 Mt CO2 in 2018. The principal emission sources are metal processing and the mining of metal ores and industrial minerals. In the roadmap’s accelerated technological development scenario, direct emissions will be reduced by 38% by 2035 and 80% by 2050.
The circular economy and energy efficiency have been competitive advantages for Finland’s technology companies for decades.
Enabling solutions include improved energy and materials efficiency, electrification of processes and machines, accelerated circular economy and digital solutions. Other solutions, partly overlapping, are e.g. automation, use of side-streams, process optimisation, sustainable design, solutions for in-bound logistics, new business models and alternative raw materials. As steel production is a major contributor to the sector’s emissions, the single biggest emission reduction will be achieved when SSAB’s hydrogen reduction-based steel manufacturing process is put into commercial production in the 2030s.
The technology industry’s need for zero-emission electricity will significantly grow due to the electrification of processes and hydrogen production. Furthermore, electricity consumption is estimated to increase as a result of a massive increase in data flow and related technology from mobile to data centres. Fossil fuels used in the manufacturing industry will be replaced with bio-based and carbon neutral fuels.
Needs and requirements
For the roadmap to become reality, a favourable operating and market environment is a necessary requirement. This implies stable and predictable regulations, ambitious long-term climate and energy policies and a fluent permitting process that all promote major forward-looking investments. Among other elements, a national hydrogen strategy and its implementation are also on the lost. In addition, investments into basic research, fundamental R&D, pilots and demonstration are required to make industrial investments happen. The need for financial support for demonstration projects and supporting exports is a necessity.
Future and positive impacts
The industry’s low-carbon technological solutions will push emission reductions through whole networks and value chains. The investments will generate multiple benefits for business and climate alike. The roadmap identified almost 200 products and technologies and picked a representative set that does or would currently reduce emissions through exports with about 20 Mt CO2 annually. This means that the handprint is already almost five times bigger than the industry’s own carbon footprint. The roadmap estimates the handprint impact to grow up to 50 Mt CO2 per year as a result of scale-up and commercialisation of enabling technologies.
Did you know that...?
• The technology industry contributes about 34% of the Finnish GDP and is the most important export sector in Finland
• Among the best-known export products from Finland are electric sensors, elevators, telephones and cyber security services and technology supplies